China to hit 500 Gigawatts of Renewable Power by 2020! – China has just published an astoundingly ambitious and exciting renewable energy plan for the next ten years. China’s plan is to get a total of 500 Gigawatts of renewable energy on the grid by 2020. It explodes wind power from a mere 25 GW on the grid now, to a staggering 150 GW, a six-fold increase on the previous already ambitious plan. Electric power would come from adding 100 GW to make 300 GW of hydro power, adding 125 GW to have 150 GW of wind power, adding 28 GW to have 30 GW of biopower, and going from a half Gigawatt to 20 GW of solar. Giant steps. To put that in perspective: the US will have added 16 GW of all renewable energy combined once the Obama administration Recovery Act funds are allocated – which, while a fabulous change for us, because it doubles the entire last thirty years of renewables on the grid – pales by comparison with 500 GW.
Ministers arrive in Cancun touting optimistic outlook – Ministers from around the world will begin to gather in Cancun today for the UN’s crucial climate change summit with opinion largely divided on the extent to which the negotiations progressed last week. Observers said progress had been made on a number of issues, including proposals for improved forestry protection, the formation of a global green fund, and the independent verification of countries’ emission pledges. However, experts also warned the talks remained on a knife edge over the future of the Kyoto Protocol following Japan’s surprise declaration that it will not support any extension of the controversial treaty. There had been reports over the weekend that a number of developing countries led by Bolivia and Venezuela could abandon the talks if the latest version of the official negotiating text dropped proposals to extend the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012.